Sailor’s Valentine – Stirling Story no.44 for 30 October 2013

This is a very good example of a sailor’s valentine of the 1850s in the Stirling Smith collections. It is currently one of the objects highlighted for Black History Month. Sailor’s valentines were made from tiny sea shells arranged in interesting patterns and encased in octagonal glazed boxes. Tradition has

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Annie Croall, Stirling Story no.43 for 23 October 2013

  Founder of the Stirling’s Children’s Home, Annie Knight Croall (1854-1927) is one of the unsung heroines of Scottish history.  She was the daughter of the first curator of the Smith Institute, and came from Leeds to Stirling at the age of 19.  A deeply spiritual person, her work for

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Chains and Slavery – Stirling Story no.41 for 9 October 2013

This window in the church of the Holy Rude is dedicated to the memory of Provost John Dick of Craigengelt (died 12 April 1865) and is most unusual in having a black man in chains before Christ.  The subject is ‘Come unto me all ye that labour.’ (Matthew 11, 28)

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Ship’s Compass, 1764 – Stirling Story no.40 for 2 October 2013

Stirling was an important port until the 20th century. For that reason, many seafaring men retired here and some left their working tools to the Stirling Smith like this beautiful compass used by Captain James Forrest. The compass is of French manufacture and is dated 1764. Forrest lived in the

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The Hay Harvest – Stirling Story no.39 for 25 September 2013

This painting is one of the largest in the Stirling Views exhibition, currently on show in the Stirling Smith.  The artist is M. Fleming Struthers, a Stirling artist closely associated with Joseph Denovan Adam’s School of Animal Art at Craigmill.   Struthers was a prolific artist, who exhibited regularly in

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Professor Hans Meidner Hans Meidner – Stirling Story 18 September 2013

  Hans Meidner was a well-known and respected figure during his life in Stirling.  He was German by birth but his anti-Nazi activities forced him to flee, and he became a scientist in South Africa, where he was a strong supporter of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement.   Hans

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Flodden and the Ring and Sword of James IV – Stirling Story no.36 for 4 September 2013

500 years ago on 9 September 1513, the Scottish army was defeated at Flodden.  King James IV, and an estimated 10,000 men – including two bishops, two abbots, twelve earls, thirteen lords, five eldest sons of lords, and about 300 of Scotland’s most influential men – were killed.  For generations

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Beer Porters by Frank Brangwyn (1867 – 1956) – Stirling Story 35 for 28 August 2013

This scene may be familiar to older readers of the Observer in more ways than one. Stirling was at one time a brewing centre, and workplace scenes such as this must have been common in breweries like St. Ninian’s Well, Burdens and Duncan’s. The image was sketched as part of

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Stirling’s Raeburn

Earlier this year, the Stirling Smith received an important bequest of a Raeburn portrait from the late Bruce Ritchie of Allan Park. Sir Henry Raeburn was the foremost Scottish portrait painter of his time, and this is the first Raeburn portrait to come in to the Smith collections. The subject

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